White Powder on AC Filter

As the temperature outside continues to drop, so does the humidity in your home. Dry air can cause itchy skin, bloody noses, static electricity and more.

To deal with these uncomfortable living conditions or to relieve respiratory symptoms of a sick family member, you may decide to buy or use a small, portable, ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. Problem solved, right? But, there may be more to the story.

Over the last few weeks, Howe has received many calls from customers saying their furnace has quit working. Upon inspection, the technician determines that the filter is plugged, while it looks clean and no other issues are apparent. So, what caused the problem?

The culprit is your ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. The ultrasonic humidifier works by misting the water into the air, but leaves a fine white power when the water is in the process of evaporating. The water evaporates, but the minerals in the water do not. That powder goes into the air, collects on the white furnace filter and clogs it quickly without you being able to notice with a quick glance at the filter.

One trick to help you determine if these minerals are building up on the filter is to tap it on the ground. Some of the minerals will leave evidence on the floor. To prevent this using portable one-room ultrasonic humidifiers, you could use distilled water, but that means buying, and hauling a lot of jugs of water home from the store.

Installing a whole-home humidifier will prevent this problem. Howe installs and services high-quality brands like Aprilaire and Honeywell. If you are interested in a whole-home humidifier, call us at 605-339-2020 today, and a certified technician will give you a free estimate.

If an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier is a necessity in your home, we suggest frequent filter changes to avert any mechanical issues this winter and prevent you from an unexpected cold morning.